Building a Front End Carrier is a relatively complex process requiring the cutting, drilling, welding, and assembly of 11 steel components and more than 21 wooden boards, using approximately 400 fasteners of 23 different kinds. We believe most customers are best served by buying a completely assembled Carrier (Model 700, 600, or 500), because the high efficiency of our production and our quantity discounts on lumber make the extra price relatively small. However, the design of the Carrier makes it possible for most potential customers, having ordinary tools and skills, to assemble an implement themselves starting with one of our kits (Model 300) and using its detailed instructions. We enthusiastically support this possibility and are very proud to offer the kits as a choice. In fact, one of the advantages of constructing much of the Carrier from treated lumber is that it is available almost everywhere and is easy for most people to work with.
Although most prospective users can do the wood-work required to assemble a Carrier (given our pre-cut and pre-drilled steel and detailed directions), fabricating the steel is an entirely different story. This work requires cutting, drilling, and welding steel ranging from ¼" to ¾" (for our design). Some of the holes must be positioned to within 1/32". We believe that only a very tiny percentage of prospective users would have the ability, tools, and inclination to build a Carrier from scratch, that their resulting product would be significantly inferior to ours (even with the advantage of looking at our pictures), and that the value of their time spent on the project would be on the order of $1 per hour. Many steel fabricators can do the work, but obviously they would have to be paid for the steel and for their labor, and also they would have to be given precise directions (probably including drawings) telling them exactly what to do. Finally, one would need to paint the steel (we do powder coating), which is quite a significant task itself.
We have worked very closely with the owner of a steel fabricator company specializing in quick attach brackets, adapters, and implements, in the design of our brackets, which conform to the industry standards and are uniquely designed for the Front End Carrier. We have arranged for volume discounts from our steel and bracket suppliers, most of which we pass along to our customers. We buy our fasteners wholesale (well below half retail price), again passing along most of the savings to our customers. Imagine how difficult and time-consuming it would be just to determine what fasteners are needed and how many of each, and then to go to the store and buy them retail (probably making multiple trips).
(As an aside, some people may feel that using wood as a major component in an implement means that the implement is inferior or cheap. The "cheap" part we agree with, in the sense of "much less expensive" but not "lower quality". As noted elsewhere, treated lumber is an excellent material for the many uses of the Carrier. It is strong, stiff, durable, inexpensive, and easy to work with. This material is perfectly suited to handle the various stresses placed on the implement by the many uses described in this website. Many trailer and wagon beds, for example, have a wood decking, and these vehicles are more similar in function to the Carrier than steel implements such as buckets and brush hogs. We have considered several other materials for making the deck and back, including steel, aluminum, fiber glass, synthetic boards, plywood, and even carbon fiber. We think treated lumber is the optimal material by far.)
Finally, we maintain that our design of the Front End Carrier is as near-optimal as is practically possible. Six different prototypes were built, tested, and evaluated before settling on the last design on which to base our patent application. This design provides maximum performance and efficiency with a minimum cost. Why don't you give it a try? Remember, we offer a money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied. That says how much we believe in our products.
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